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posted by janrinok on Wednesday May 24 2023, @09:51PM   Printer-friendly

Aspiring Photographer's $3K Camera Accidentally Donated to Goodwill and Sold for $70:

An aspiring wedding photographer suffered a "huge setback" after her mom accidentally donated her brand new $3,000 camera to Goodwill — sparking a huge campaign to get the camera back.

Kelsie Lee had spent "several years" saving up for her Canon R6 Mark II with dreams of using it to be a wedding, engagement, and elopement photographer.

After purchasing the camera, Lee was been enthusiastically taking photos of her friends and family. But this all came to a crashing halt after her mom unintentionally donated the R6 to a Goodwill store where it was purchased for just $70.

"I was using it to take some photos of my family and me before we went out to dinner," Lee tells PetaPixel.

"I didn't want to bring the camera inside of the restaurant at the risk of damaging it and I also was hesitant to leave it in the car because of possible theft.

"My dad and I thought it would be a good idea to hide the camera in a cardboard box in the back of my mom's car — who was not at the dinner."

Later, when Lee went to retrieve her camera from her mom's car the "worst possible thing had happened" — the box and camera were gone.

"My mom had absolutely no idea my camera was in there and I had absolutely no idea that box was headed for Goodwill," Lee explains.

"We went to Goodwill immediately after we realized what happened. Turns out we missed the camera by ONE hour!"

[...] After losing her camera, Lee took to TikTok and in a heartbreaking post detailed what had just happened — she offered a $500 reward for the return of the R6.

After some people had falsely claimed they had her camera, Lee received a message on Instagram from a couple who said that they had it.

"I was initially hesitant," says Lee. "They sent me photos of the camera and I knew right away it was mine — I definitely blacked out for a second. I couldn't believe it."

The kind-hearted couple drove two hours to return the camera and did not want the reward money, but Lee insisted that they were compensated plus gas money.

[...] The one caveat was that after the couple bought the camera they had cleared the SD card. But, Lee is working with an expert to restore her photos.

OK, it is not a 'techie' or a STEM story - but how many of us have lost something absolutely vital to our work? A laptop maybe, or probably a cell/mobile phone with all the data that it contains. What measures do you take now to prevent a similar loss in the future?

Original Submission

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  • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:04PM (#1308037)

    A cleaner at an R&D lab was emptying plastic wastebaskets one night. There was a funny shaped metal thing with wires sticking out, sitting on top of one of them. This was unusual, but she dumped it into her collection bin with the other trash and it went out to the dumpster.

    Turned out a tech or an engineer had set a custom transducer assembly on the waste basket so it the weight of it wouldn't pinch some wires that came out the bottom...and had left the basket on the floor. They chased the dumpstar to the dump and really looked, but it was gone. I think the value was something like a quarter million $$$$$$...and there were additional costs run up because it delayed a project.

    I work at that location a few times a year and the cleaner was the one who told me the story, happened last year. Of course there was an inquiry, but she was found blameless and didn't lose her job.

  • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:21PM (3 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday May 24 2023, @11:21PM (#1308041)

    Going into photography in 2023 is an incredibly stupid career move, akin to starting a horse carriage manufacturing in 1920. While I feel for Kelsie's loss of her beloved camera, her mother's mistake might be the best thing she could have done for her.

    • (Score: 4, Insightful) by janrinok on Thursday May 25 2023, @07:05AM

      by janrinok (52) Subscriber Badge on Thursday May 25 2023, @07:05AM (#1308066) Journal

      A professional digital photographer will produce far better work that your average wedding guest using a smart phone.

      There is a place for both of them, but there is still work for those who wish to follow a career.

      I am not interested in knowing who people are or where they live. My interest starts and stops at our servers.
    • (Score: 2) by JoeMerchant on Thursday May 25 2023, @11:04AM (1 child)

      by JoeMerchant (3937) on Thursday May 25 2023, @11:04AM (#1308086)

      I just got a Pixel 7a on a deal for $250. It's not a dedicated camera, just a smartphone with a reasonable camera built in.

      First picture I took was indoors, at night, looking into a lit stained glass lamp on one side of the frame with my wife's face illuminated by the glow of her laptop screen on the other side, and the resulting photo was... damn near perfect. It had no right to be in sharp focus at such low light levels (with a lens size so small!) with a wobbly tap to snap shutter release, but not only was it sharp focus, the color and white balances were perfect, better than real life, as if you focused your eyes on each part of the scene and merged the best exposure for each area into a single image. It looks natural, maybe a little hyper saturated but I bet there's a software setting for that.

      Unless you need telephoto shots, there's no reason to spend even $1k on a camera today.

      As for Goodwill: DVDs at 5 for $3, dress shirts like new that sold for $50+ in the mall: also $3. $3k cameras for $70 (when you are lucky), $800 bicycles for $30... It's worth a visit.

      🌻🌻 []
      • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25 2023, @01:20PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 25 2023, @01:20PM (#1308099)

        > As for Goodwill ...

        I hate shopping for clothes, resist going to department stores, etc.
        Then my gal took me to a thrift store where the variety is much wider and all of a sudden shopping is at least slightly fun--perhaps a little thrill of the chase?

        The other day I found something I'd never heard of, shoes with the uppers made of high quality wool, with a rubber sole like an old sneaker. Given one arthritic & enlarged toe, these shoes are wonderfully soft & comfortable for driving (probably not so good for extended walking). $7 for the pair, they needed a quick hand wash to remove a small stain.

  • (Score: 2) by SomeGuy on Thursday May 25 2023, @12:11PM

    by SomeGuy (5632) on Thursday May 25 2023, @12:11PM (#1308090)

    Just goes to show how well trained consumertards are these days. If something isn't a smart phone, if MUST be worthless trash. Just throw out all professional equipment, we aren't allowed to have anything better because the TV says so.

  • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Thursday May 25 2023, @02:09PM

    by Freeman (732) on Thursday May 25 2023, @02:09PM (#1308107) Journal

    It's something that I could see happening at my house, because my Wife does donate stuff to Goodwill. Then again, I'd probably be a bit paranoid and let her know that I put it in the cardboard box in the back of the vehicle.

    Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"